1. Writing with purpose
My blog needs more attention and direction. I would like it to show what I feel and my vision and I don’t believe that it does. I have strong feelings about things and I want to be able to describe them in a rational way.
When I go to my blog, one word stands out: "draft". I have written a lot of posts about education. But most have been too angry to publish. Nothing that is really constructive and adds to the educational landscape. However, we now have curriculum change and a reason for me to write about the things that I am doing (particularly post-16) and share the progress of the things that I put in place. After Christmas I hope to look more at GCSE.
2. At home
We only have one plan for the this year - getting Richard qualified and ready for Paris-Brest-Paris in the summer. It really is the culmination of ten years of cycling so that he is ready for this challenge. My main hope is that some of his colleagues recognise the achievement, it will mean so much to him. I doubt it though. We did say that we would take Richard’s daughter to Oxford to see the city and to go to the Imperial War Museum as we haven’t been for a while. When Richard is out cycling I want to work on things around the house and get over my fear of gardening.
Richard has qualified for Paris-Brest-Paris. I haven't got over my fear of gardening. The over growth is winning every battle. I really want to let it win the war. However, in the house I am doing better. The recycling pile is increasing and I am being ruthless. We did take my step-daughter to Oxford, it's a really lovely place. A trip to London is planned for the summer.
3. Bringing a conference/an event to Westonbirt
The head has seen me help organise activities outside of school and has invited me to replicate this in school. We certainly have the space. I need to think about this in order to bring together something valuable. It is a real compliment to be trusted with this.
Still in the planning stage.
4. More curriculum change
The next task at school is to embed the changes to KS3 and do more to look forward to the changes at KS5. I think that the department will need some help to develop the idea of a lab book as will the students. The changes at GCSE concern me greatly, I don’t think that the specifications will be ready towards the end of 2015, again giving teachers and publishers less and less time to prepare a good scheme of work.
I am really pleased with how well Year 7 have done this year with the new scheme of work we have. We're teaching less in Year 7 than we used to and I think this really helped them. I worked hard on revision with them and as a result the test results were extremely high.
I am teaching them as Year 8 in September, so I can continue to work on the new schemes. All of the curriculum change is a work in progress otherwise.
5. What is next?
I love my school and working there. But I also feel the pull of a new challenge. I don’t know what that is yet and I fully expect to see myself working at Westonbirt in a year’s time, partly because I want to see through the curriculum changes and develop my use of 1-2-1 devices in the classroom and partly because it is a fabulous school and I believe in what we do. But I need to prepare myself for what is next. Would I get an assistant head position from where I am? Do I want one or do I want to stay more closely tied to science education? Would being an assistant head affect that? Am I good enough? Do I want to stay as a teacher?
But I also think that to look to the future I also need to consolidate. Think about what we/I/the department do really well and make the most of those things. Ensure they stand out as excellent and don't get lost amongst all the change.
I have spent some time this year talking to my colleagues in other departments. I think that it is important to understand the pressure and commitments of other subjects if I am going to have whole school responsibility in the future. However, I am still really enjoying thinking about my own subject and working with my team. I want to work on the current set of curriculum changes and I am enjoying working on the 1-2-1 iPad scheme. I also enjoy being able to tap into the expertise within the ASE, the professional learning conference reaffirmed it's usefulness to me last week.